WA agribusiness giants Craig Mostyn Group and V&V Walsh announce merger

Headshot of Adam Poulsen
Adam PoulsenCountryman
Craig Mostyn Group chair Neil Kearney pictured at their office in Fremantle. Ian Munro
Camera IconCraig Mostyn Group chair Neil Kearney pictured at their office in Fremantle. Ian Munro Credit: Ian Munro/The West Australian

WA meat processing giant Craig Mostyn Group has bought out one of the State’s biggest lamb and beef exporters, on Friday announcing a full merger with V&V Walsh.

Craig Mostyn Group bought 50 per cent of V&V Walsh in 2017, with the purchase of the final half now finalised and set to take effect on July 1.

V&V Walsh runs one of Australia’s biggest meat processing plants at Bunbury and includes the Amelia Park Lamb and Beef brand, while Craig Mostyn Group owns Linley Valley Pork.

Linley Valley Pork is WA’s largest integrated pork supplier, operating five farms and processing 14,000 pigs a week at its Wooroloo abattoir.

Craig Mostyn Group chief executive Neil Kearney said the merger would bring together the best of both entities into one company operating multiple facilities, creating one of WA’s largest agribusinesses.

“The companies share a vision for a strong, WA-focused food and protein production business with a desire to grow jobs and exports for Western Australia,” he said.

“The merger marks an exciting time for Craig Mostyn Group and the industry as we continue to diversify, strengthen and grow our brands and offering to our valued customers and loyal consumers.

“It demonstrates our ongoing commitment to investing in and growing agriculture and food processing in WA, despite the challenging environment caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“It also means a business developed in WA more than 60 years ago will remain in Australian ownership.”

Established in 1957 as a humble Bunbury butcher shop, V&V Walsh has expanded to become one of WA’s biggest meat processors and exporters, specialising in lamb and beef.

Mr Kearney said Craig Mostyn Group would build on that growth and continue to work with V&V Walsh’s management team to “invest and grow the business further”.

“The strong V&V Walsh brand will continue to be used in export markets and former CEO Peter Walsh will remain in an advisory role,” he said.

Despite the shake-up, it would be business as usual for the companies’ various divisions including farms, feedlots and abattoirs.

The merger would enable the further delivery of “greater efficiencies and critical mass in a highly competitive market both locally and overseas”, Craig Mostyn Group said in a statement.

“We are proud of our position as one of the leading employers in the Australian agribusiness sector, with more than 1200 employees across 12 sites,” Mr Kearney said.

“This merger will provide greater job opportunities for employees as well as for those seeking a career in agriculture and food processing in Western Australia.”

He said the combined business had “enormous potential” to grow in WA and more broadly within the region, particularly in the rapidly developing markets of South East Asia and China.

“We have a fantastic opportunity to work with government, industry bodies and export partners to introduce the world to our premium WA brands,” Mr Kearney said.

“This is an exciting time for us as a company in the lead up to our 100th year anniversary next year.

“We look forward to continuing to build on the legacy of our founders as these two great Western Australian companies become one.”

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